Banding Together

Jenna Monteagudo, Staff Writer

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The bus was jittery with excitement as we pulled up to Mitchel Field Athletic Complex on Thursday, October 18th. We saw all the other bands and dancers getting off their buses, and could feel everyone’s excitement for the marching band festival. The band  lined up as we walked to the other side of the bleachers to settle in, and the Dalerettes followed them in complete silence as we waited to be seated.

The night was freezing; it was about 38 degrees. Everyone on the bleachers was bundled up in our Farmingdale clothes to represent our school. Nearly every other school in Nassau county was sitting, waiting to be called up for its performance. The big field as it was lit up from the huge lights over it as we all waited for the opening performance.  Our parents sat across from us on the other side of the field, hundreds of families and dozens of colors for the different school spirit. Northport got on the field and was ready to go, playing “America the Beautiful,” and everyone stood up to show respect.

As all the schools were performing, the Dalerettes were bonding, taking pictures, and trying our best to keep warm. After waiting for a few hours, it was finally our turn to get ready and perform. We took off our comfortable sweats and blankets, and immediately got hit with the wind and frigid air. The Dalerettes were in uniforms that are dresses up to our knees, with tights underneath, while  the band was in long black and green suits with gloves and big black hats. We got onto a smaller field to warm up and stretch. Soon enough, we were ready to go on and show Nassau what Farmingdale is about.

We quietly walked to the field in straight lines of four. The whole complex was in complete silence as the drums beat cadence to march into our first spots on the field.  Performing it felt like nothing else in the world mattered; we were like one huge family. Everyone had been waiting for this day to show our amazing performance. The frigid cold didn’t even matter at that point, we just wanted to do our best.

When it all was said and done, Dalerette Captain Riley Priess said, “It’s not all about showing our best performance, it’s about the memories and talent we have all together. That is what makes the experience so special.” The night was over and everyone felt like that was the best performance yet.

We headed back to the bleachers so we could all bundle back up to run back to the buses. All the schools were scattered around the complex and we made a mad dash to be first. After everyone was settled in we headed back to school. Newsday was done for this year, but we’ll be back next year better than ever.